Everyone is born with an innate desire to serve. A very successful friend of mine who is a realtor in Denver says it this way: I focus on customer service for several reasons. First of all I need to make a game out of what I do. I found that most buyers and often sellers are very uneducated in the home-buying/selling process. Many agents wouldn’t care as long as they got the sale. I won’t operate that way. I want sellers and buyers to have a good experience with real estate. I found that if I focus on customer service I have more ways of keeping in touch with past clients and thus referrals from them.
For example, I send out a copy of their appropriate closing documents (so they don’t have to dig them up) that they will need for their accountant to do their taxes. I put together a notebook for buyers and one for sellers. It has pictures of my office with a history, lender information, a section on myself, how to reach me, etc., marketing techniques, my customer service in writing, copy of contracts, net sheet, the home buying or selling process and so on. I find that buyers seem to like these notebooks the best. They carry them around whenever we get together. I guess bottom line I like to keep in touch with past clients and use them as a source of business. Most clients tell me I’m more like a friend.
Sales is about taking the time and care to discover what someone really needs and then finding the solutions to that need. I have seen many accomplished salespeople with great initial numbers, great technique and great command of the product and the industry fail because they didn’t care anymore and had no capacity to serve. They became demoralized and upset as their numbers dropped. Sadly, without addressing their problem they move on to other companies or products or territories, only to produce the same gut-wrenchmg rollercoaster results. A sale is just the beginning, not the end of a customer relationship.
I remember a very ambitious and highly talented guy named Fred who could charm the socks off anyone. For his first year selling insurance for a large, well-known firm, he broke every record. He was awesome.
Somehow, after that first year, his sales plateaued and then began a steady decline. He pushed hard, put in a lot of effort and time, yet he could not seem to replicate his rookie performance.
He had no repeat business while others sold bigger and bigger policies to their existing customers. Frustrated with his results, he assumed that it was the insurance business that
was the cause of his problems and decided to look for an alternative industry so he could rediscover his initial success.
A good friend turned him on to a very hot network marketing opportunity. Once again his numbers took off as before but within months he had reached the same plateau. This time, however, his director spent some time observing and coaching him.
His director asked, “How much time do you spend with the people you enrol?” Fred’s answer was typical: “I spend enough time for them to understand the program and then I look for more sales.” Fred’s problem was that he was focused on pure sales. His chief concern was how much he could sell and how fast he could sell it.
He committed very little of his time to support those that he had introduced to the program. This was the same problem that he had in insurance. In fact, he could barely remember why any of his clients had ever bought from him in either business.
Luckily for Fred, his director was a skilled Dog Trainer. He gave Fred an assignment. He was to go back and talk to every client he had ever sold insurance to and every person he ever enrolled and ask them why they purchased and what value they saw in the products. Fred was angry. “That will take forever! If I do that I will never make any sales!” Nonetheless he complied.
After a couple of weeks he sat down with his director again. This was a new Fred. He learned about the anguish and hope of a young family striving to make ends meet and to protect their future. He learned about how a simple marketing opportunity had taken one of his customers from rags to riches. In the process, he uncovered a wealth of information, insight and glowing testimonials.
The stories were always there, but he had never taken the time to listen. Fred’s sales skyrocketed after that, and since then he has created his own network marketing company and is making millions. He tells all of his marketers, with whom he conducts regular training sessions, to simply look for a way to serve the customer. Even if your product can’t do it, help them find a way to accomplish their goals. His favorite expression is, “Trust me… the service road becomes the fast road!”
There have been times I lost sales in order to accommodate the true needs of the customer. I lost sales, but never lost those customers, and I made up those momentary losses with bigger sales later on. All because I was willing to serve their needs first. That has got to be the passion!
The definition of sales IS NOT simply getting someone to buy. Sales IS making someone’s life better in some way. That is service!
Inspire your team and remind them of the service that they are providing to others. You can never overemphasize this. You must touch their hearts so that they will do the same with their prospects. That is where all meaningful decisions are made.
This article was adapted from “SalesDogs: You Do Not Have to Be an Attack Dog to Explode your Income!” by Blair Singer, top sales and leadership coach. Success Resources is pleased to introduce the “Sales and Leadership Mastery Introductory Workshop: Generate More Sales Fast By Exploding Your Ability to Sell and Communicate.” For more details and to register for this workshop, click here.